tv At This Hour With Kate Bolduan CNN February 2, 2018 8:00am-9:00am PST
tomorrow at 2:30 eastern on cnn. i went to the local pub and you were right, they were awesome. >> i love them. how is my hometown treating you? everythi everyone being minnesota nice? >> reporter: everyone is so nice here in minnesota. i'm falling in love with the culture here. super bowl lii! the people here are great, poppy. we miss you. >> bye, coy. have fun. thank you all for joining us. i'm poppy harlow. "at this hour" begins right now. hi there. i'm brianna keilar in for kate bolduan. on this february 2nd, the groundhog could be overshadowed by a document that few people have read, but everyone seems to have an opinion about. today, president trump is expected to ignore the warnings of his fbi chief and justice department officials and green light the release of a classified and partisan memo alleging fbi surveillance abuses. the memo was written by the gop head of the house intelligence
committee devin nunes who also served on the trump transition team. the president throwing some extra shade on law enforcement this morning, tweeting the top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department have politicized the sacred investigative process and in favor of democrats and against republicans. something which would have been unthinkable a short time ago. rank and file are great people. now, he failed to mention the top leadership are his appointees and life-long republicans. i want to get right to cnn's jeff zeleny at the white house what is the latest there, jeff? >> reporter: well, brianna, good morning. president trump as you said is positioning himself to square off fight with the top ranks of the fbi and the justice department. in terms of the timing of the release of this memo, white house officials are still saying it is likely to be released later today. but it will be coming, of course, from the house intelligence committee. so we are likely only to see the president simply sign off on this, he may not even speak about it here at the white house.
he's likely to send a letter to the house saying he approves the release of this, and then it is likely to be released by the house intelligence committee. again, likely later today but the timing is still a little bit up in the air here. brianna, in terms of the tweet this morning, the president clearly putting politics in this, saying that the top ranks of the fbi have been prejudiced against him. it is part of his ongoing argument he's been making privately and publicly that he hopes this will discredit the russia investigation. this is exactly opposite from what republican house speaker paul ryan said just yesterday. he said this should not impugn the russia investigation. now, in terms of the top ranks of the fbi, the president talked about that this morning, let's take a look at those men who are in those positions. they are all republicans as you said. christopher wray, the director of the fbi, he is republican. james comey, of course, the fired director of the fbi, republican. it is simply down the line here as well as andrew mccabe, the
deputy director of the fbi, republican, and rod rosenstein, the deputy attorney general republican. so all these four men at the top of the to be herb loechelons, a republican appointees here. so it does not square with what the president was saying this morning. it is a partisan attack here. some context there as we go forward, the president planning on doing this, then going to florida later this evening to spend the weekend at his mar-a-lago retreat. between now and then, several hours here, that confrontation with the fbi likely to get under way. brianna? >> sure will, jeff zeleny at the white house, thank you so much me. a source familiar with the fbi says th-- jessica schneiders joining me now. what have you been learning, jessica? >> reporter: i talked to a official familiar with the fbi's stance on this. they tell me even in athere are
redactions from the memo, there are grave concerns. that's the phrase used in the rare statement released by the fbi, pushing back on this memo on wednesday. so the source described it to me this way, they said, well, there may have been editing of the text of this memo, but that doesn't change the overall false narrative of the memo itself. and then when presented with the possibility that the white house had made some accommodations, maybe made some changes, this way, they said that just sounds like spin to justify the release. so it is clear here that there is still this face-off between the fbi director and the white house, the president, and his chief of staff, and, of course, our team has been reporting that the white house aides, they're concerned that director wray of the fbi could quit if this highly controversial memo is released here. so a lot of concerns still from the law enforcement community, the intelligence community, that a lot could be compromised if this memo is released and even if there are some changes made here, brianna, that still
wouldn't satisfy the fbi. >> thank you so much. joining me now is cnn legal and national security analyst asha rangappa, a former fbi special agent and now a lecturer at yale. also with me, cnn chief political analyst gloria borger and former associate white house counsel under george w. bush jamil jafer. thank you for joining me on this groundhog's day. i won't make the joke. you know what i'm thinking. gloria, you have a source who is pretty close to this process of clearing this memo, and they're concerned about all of this buildup, you know, the bar has been raised pretty high by this. >> it has. and the way it was described to me is that the drum roll is getting a little bit long here. and what we're seeing is that it is continuing today and, of course, the white house is going to hand the football over to the house and part of the reason for that, aside from the fact that that's the process, is that it seems to me maybe the white
house is trying to distance itself a little bit from all of this. there is a question -- >> good luck. >> right. but there is a question about whether all the hype is really going to live up to the -- what the real memo is. and whether it kind of may fall flat. so i think you're going to see this ball passed to the hill. it will be released from the hill and, you know, people will see it the way they want to see it. >> that is really interesting reporting, gloria. asha, evan perez is reporting that white house officials are concerned, wray might actually resign over this. do you think that could happen? >> i don't think it would happen and i don't think he should. i think the fbi needs someone who is going to stand up for them and i think that he's doing that. he's also there to protect the integrity of the investigations and, brianna, i want to take a zoom back and not forget what the fisa is about.
carter page was on the fbi's radar as far back as 2013. he was warned by the fbi that the russians were trying to target him to be a spy. so it is not at all surprising to me that the fbi would have kept tabs on that, and would have been concerned if he ended up working for the russians and then being a part of the campaign. so that is the kind of context that i think if it is excluded from this memo would be -- would make it incredibly misleading to the american public. >> jamil, it is even logistically hard to know exactly how all of this is going to proceed. it is really unchartered territory to release a document this way. you worked in the white house counsel's office, you've been at doj, worked for a congressional committee. do you have a sense of how this would roll out? >> yes, look, under the house intelligence committee's rules, i worked there under chairman mike rogers and the way it works is the committee decides it wants to release the memo, sends a note to the president, the
president can decide to object. if he doesn't object, the committee can just release the memo after five days. so it is only the president objects they need a full house vote. it is challenging here is the president could approve it with changes, but also could just do nothing and allow the committee as it stands today. >> it sounds like there may not be changes to your point there. gloria, you have a great column today about how donald trump is using blunt force against robert mueller, explain what you mean by that? >> this is all he knows. in talking to people who are kind of familiar with what is going on in his head and what his legal thinking is, donald trump this is his way of attacking mueller without attack mueller he's atta mueller. he's tacking the investigation, trying to destabilize the investigation. people who know trump say he's willing to escalate and escalate and escalate in a way that people aren't used to in washington. and he will take on institutions like the fbi, like the congress,
whatever it takes, because he got elected, busting norms, and he has no loyalty to any of these institutions. his loyalty is to himself. so whatever he needs to take down, in order to make sure that he's cleared in his fight with mueller, or that he could go toe to toe with mueller, he will do. he will do that. and so, you know, it is going to be some kind of a challenge when he and mueller, if they ever sit down together, what happens there. or he uses this as a way to challenge mueller and say, you know what, why should i sit down with you? your investigation has been tainted, you've been out to get me and i don't see any reason i ought to sit for an interview with you. >> asha, a tweet from the president today going after top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department. his own picks in those -- he says the rank and file are good people.
clearly trying to drive a wedge or make a distinction between the two. does that matter? >> no. at this point, he's attacking the fbi. and either he misunderstands kind of how investigations work or he's being disingenuous. >> what do you mean by that? how it works? i think what you're saying is that the rank and file is driving some of this? >> yes. i mean, listen, when you have an investigation, you have agents on the ground doing the investigative work. you have leads going out to field offices across the country who are doing part of the investigative work. all of this is, you know, this is one big apparatus. and you cannot pluck one person out and pin the blame on them. that's just not how these investigations operate and, you know, they go through a lot of layers of both internal approvals, doj, and ultimately the judicial branch. so he's being disingenuous.
i believe that the fbi feels that it is an assault on them, you saw the statement from the fbi agents association yesterday, and i think that this is being seen as an attack on the entire fbi for sure. >> jamil, if we see this memo, you're flipping through this for the first time, this three plus pages, what is the first thing you're looking for? >> well, i think you're trying to figure out what is the evidence to support the claims that there was an unlawful or illegal behavior by the fbi. because that's the underlying claim here, that the bureau, the justice department did something wrong. the problem, of course is that if you don't have a fair and even handed sort of airing of the issues, don't have the democrats' response to that, it is only going to be seen as political. even if there was malfeasance, which we don't know, it is going to be undermined by the way the committee is carrying out the approach. it is unfortunate. >> what are you curious about, gloria, when you get your hands on this thing? >> i'm curious to know how they make the case that this fisa warrant was not appropriate.
with carter page, you have somebody who had been investigated for years, and they're going to make the case that it depended solely on this so-called dossier by an agent that they believe is not credible. and, you know, the question is, how are they going to say that carter page, who, you know, again, was on their radar -- >> someone tried to recruit him, a russian agent tried to recruit him. >> when you renew a fisa as james clapper has pointed out on our air, when you renew a fisa, it is because there is some belief that the fisa was valid and working and that you can therefore get more information. so i'm just curious as to how they would say that this wasn't anything that was warranted. how you make that case. >> it is going to be fascinating either way. we will see. gloria, thank you so much. jamil, asha, thank you so much
for your insight. it is not just democrats accusing devin nunes of carrying out a partisan attack with this memo. a former republican colleague of the house intel chairman is slamming nunes in a new op-ed. joe walsh will join us next to talk about that. plus, the dow dropping triple digits despite a better than expected jobs report. so what's going on here? and the father of three girls abused by larry nassar, rushing the former usa gymnastics doctor in court, calling him a demon, security tackling him to the ground. stay with us.
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helps remove stains and prevent stain build up. use polident daily. we're waiting the release of that classified memo on the fbi's russia investigation. democrats calling it a partisan hit job and now some republicans are speaking out against it, including former republican congressman joe walsh, who has worked with the memo's author devin nunes. walsh says in "washington post"
op-ed that nunes is acting like a partisan hack. joe walsh joins me to talk about this, a syndicated talk radio host. thank you for being with us. >> good to be with you, brianna. >> congressman, you write in this op-ed, these are your words, it doesn't surprise me to see nunes today acting more like the chairman of the president's re-election campaign than chairman of the intelligence committee. he wants to please whom ever he sees as the person or people running the show. back then it was house gop leadership, now it is president trump. so explain some of this back story to us. >> hey, brianna, devin nunes is a partisan animal. in my experience in congress, he was one of the most partisan republicans we had. his job back then was to protect the party. sadly his job today is to protect trump, and not protect the country. i mean, putting out -- let's be clear about what this is. everybody wants to release the m memo, be honest about what it
is, it is a partisan memo written by nunes and republican staffers. if he was serious about finding out what the fbi might have done, he wouldn't be acting so partisan. but he's decided, i think he decided a while ago, his job is to protect trump no matter what. >> you call his inquiry here a farce. you know, we have seen these texts from peter strzok, inappropriate, even people who are critical of donald trump say, god, it was the wrong thing to do, why was he doing that? you see this republican talking point about the political donations of people participating in the special counsel and you hear other people who say why do they do that? it muddies the water. there is no indication from any of that that this has affected the investigation, that the investigation is biased, but the things don't look good. i wonder if you were at least concerned about a perception of political bias at the fbi and on
the special counsel. >> brianna, i feel like i'm in bizarro world. i'm concerned about what russia did in our election, i'm concerned if any american colluded with or helped russia and, yes, brianna, i'm concerned if there were any fbi surveillance abuses that went on and swayed the election. i'm concerned about it all, devin nunes should be too, which is why it demands a serious nonpartisan, bipartisan investigation. not what nunes is doing. brianna, if he were serious about finding out the truth, he wouldn't be sending out, releasing to the public, some partisan republican memo that nobody will understand, without any background, without any context, without the underlying surveillance. i go back to it. the republicans have decided our job is to protect trump and not the truth. that's a shame.
>> the president attacked the fbi and the doj this morning, congressman, on twitter, for politicizing the investigation. when you saw that, what did you think? what is your reaction? >> i slapped myself. these are his own people. think about this, brianna, he's attacking the people that he put at the fbi and the justice department. and then he throws a faint to the rank and file. this won't end well for him. he -- he is working with nunes and they're doing what they can to discredit the fbi and mueller and i think that's an absolute shame because we want to know the truth about what the fbi did. we want to know the truth about what russia did. this is all a distraction. >> you talked to trump's reportreport supporters on the radio every day, i wonder how they're responding to this? how is that going? >> they're probably turning me off. they're not real happy.
>> i'm sure they tweet you and e-mail you. are you hearing that, they're unhappy with you for what you're saying? >> yeah, cut it out, joe, release the memo. the fbi, the deep state, look, they were out to get trump. i hear all of that. and my answer, brianna is, yes, there may be some truth to that, so let's, as adults, investigate it all. investigate the fbi, investigate the trump campaign, investigate russia. unfortunately, you know, we have all gone to our partisan corners and there are too many trump supporters out there who only want to go after the fbi, but they don't want to go after russia or anything that the trump campaign might have done. it is partisan. and it shouldn't be partisan. >> former congressman joe walsh, hey, we really appreciate you being with us. thank you. >> thank you, brianna. >> coming up, a father's rage boiling over in court. this is the father of three girls abused by the former usa
gymnastics doctor, larry nassar. he called nassar a demon, rushed toward him in court, security there tackling him to the ground. we're live from this courthouse next with what happened just moments ago. plus, the dow dropping more than 300 points, despite a better than expected jobs report. what is going on here? (vo) dogs have evolved, but their nutritional needs remain instinctual. that's why there's purina one true instinct. nutrient-dense, protein-rich, real meat number one. this is a different breed of natural nutrition. purina one, true instinct.
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so we're keeping our eye right now on a triple digit drop in the stock market, despite what was a strong jobs report out this morning. i want you to look at the board here, the dow down more than 300 points, alison kosik joining me now. what is going on, alison? >> reporter: this wound up being a very strong jobs report. i'm talking about the january jobs report. but the way wall street sees it, the good news is actually bad news. let me explain. one of the things in this jobs report, it showed the biggest jump in wages that we have seen
in eight years, so, yes, americans got a big raise in january. part of the reason for that is the trump tax plan. a lot of companies, dozens of companies, wound up giving raises and bonuses in january. also, higher minimum wages took effect in 18 states across the country. so that helped as well. all right, so main street is thrilled about it. the american worker is thrilled about higher wages because wages have literally been stuck in pause for years. so it is about time. wall street sees it differently. they see flashing signs of inflation ahead. and that could possibly mean the fed could get more aggressive in raising interest rates at a faster pace. and that could wind up slowing the economy down, a little bit, because it becomes more expensive to borrow money and people begin spending less money. but overall, you look at the jobs report, this was a strong one. 200,000 jobs added in january. the unemployment rate holding steady at a 17-year low at 4.1%.
if you want to get out your comparison marker, about the trump first year in jobs and the obama last year in jobs, under the first 12 months for president trump, there were 2.1 million jobs created. if you look at the last 12 months, president obama, 2.5 million jobs were created, so actually job creation for president obama was stronger in his last year. but here is the big caveat, because with president trump, we're getting closer to full time employment. meaning that 4.1% unemployment shows we're getting close to everyone sort of having the jobs that they want to have, so inevitably you're going to see fewer jobs being open. that's the comparison for you. brianna? >> all right, thank you so much, for putting all of that in context with us. have a great weekend. we have to show you this really shocking moment, this happened a short time ago inside of a michigan courtroom, the father of three girls who were
abused by larry nassar, so three of his daughters, abused by this former usa gymnastics doctor, who pleaded guilty to sexually abusing young athletes under his care, the two came face to face and watch what happened next. >> i would ask you to, as part of the sentencing, to grant me five minutes in a locked room with this demon. would you do that? >> that is not -- >> yes or no? >> no, sir. >> would you give me one minute? >> you know i can't do that. that's not how -- >> i'm going to have to -- >> stay down. >> i want that son of a
[ bleep ]. >> give me one minute with that -- >> i want to bring in jean casarez. jean, this moment, it spoke -- you had so many parents, even parents who didn't believe their daughters, who thought that everything was okay, and now they are grappling with the guilt of this. it seemed like this moment encapsulated some of that sort of bigger issue. tell us what happened next. >> reporter: you're so right, brianna. i mean, just the depth of the emotion that affects an entire family. what happened was sheriff deputies escorted him out, his name is randall margraves. he's still in custody. we don't know if he's in the courthouse or the jail directly next door. judge cunningham ordered an investigation on him, that investigation at last word has not yet started. the court took a break. larry nassar was escorted from that courtroom for his own
protection and safety. immediately when this happened. and then they finally got back into session, but the irony of this all is that the family attorney was here for the young daughters, because two of them gave their victim impact statements today, and now suddenly this attorney has become criminal in nature to aid and assist their father. this is the only family that i've seen that has had three daughters assaulted by larry nassar. two spoke today, one spoke last week in ingham county. all three of them were affected by this. also want to tell you, another father just spoke in court, he did speak and i want to tell you a few words because i think it just shows what the family goes through. he said, how could we let this happen to our daughters? how could it happen to them? we were told that you were not only a good doctor, but we were told that you were an incredible person and that's why we let you treat our daughters. and he said, i got to know you, larry, and i trusted you myself.
brianna, so many of the parents were right in the examination room when their daughters were treated. but he was able to hide what he was doing. >> that's right. and tell us something else, this was a part of this case, these comments, by nassar's former defense attorney, one of them. baffling comments. and she's now clarifying these comments. this had to do about the number of his victims. tell us about this. >> reporter: that's right. you know, as the proceeding has gone on, young woman after young woman decided they will have the strength and courage to come into the courtroom. they have to file reports. they can't just walk in off the street t was shannon jones, and shannon smith and she said yesterday, to wwj news radio in detroit that she's not sure she believes all of these young women. listen. all right. she said that she believes that
so many young women have stepped forward, that some of them are not truthful. that some of them are just, i guess, wanting their 15 minutes of fame. now, she did clarify to espn that there was a plea agreement, but she also said that she believed larry nassar did a lot of good for a lot of people. that he was a good person, there were good aspects to him. cnn got a response from larry nassar through the attorney saying i did not authorize the statement from my attorney at all, there is a plea agreement and i agreed to it and i'm sorry for the victims who have to go through this as they are trying to speak now in court. >> it is baffling. s it seemed like she was saying how is it possible that there were this many, which is what many of us are saying not incredulously, but in sheer horror, how were there so many. these women and certainly the court really took them at their word and we got to see how
difficult it was for them to come and say their peace in court. and, jean, you've been covering this all along. we appreciate you for shining a spotlight on this really horrific case that needs to be discussed. jean casarez for us in michigan. thank you so much. still ahead, as president trump slams fbi and doj leaders ahead of the release of that controversial and partisan memo, house speaker paul ryan is now speaking out about the opposing memo that democrats want out. that's next.
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to hold off. they rereleased this statement, president trump should heed the warnings of the justice department and the fbi and reverse his reported decision to defy long-standing policies regarding the disclosure of classified information. now, the president's apparent willingness to release this memo risk more nining u.s. intelligence gathering efforts, politicize i politicizing congress' oversight role and eroding confidence in our institutions of government. phil mattingly is covering this for us. >> reporter: it has been really interesting to watch over the last couple of days as both parties try and grapple with this and chambers try to grapple with this. senators haven't seen this memo. the senate republican intelligence chairman hasn't seen this memo. two things, one, this is the house's issue, we haven't seen it, and, two, a number of them raised concerns or stressed
caution in what should be in this memo and what should be released that is not the case for house republicans on the rank and file perspective. they have largely driven this into the public forum, they want this to be out, a lot of them are outraged by it and believe it shows systemic issues inside the fbi and the justice department. now, compare that to where republican leadership in the house is. you mentioned speaker paul ryan, he has basically spent the last couple of weeks trying to convince them, this isn't about the mueller investigation, this isn't about the deputy attorney general, this is about congressional oversight. in fact, last night, the speaker spokeswoman putting out a statement saying not only does he believe the republican memo should be released, but also the democratic memo, saying the speaker is in favor of greater transparency if it is scrubbed to make sure it does not reveal sources and methods of our intelligence gathering, the speaker supports the release of the democratic memo. they want this to come out, all of them have reviewed the memo,
hearing from their constituents this is a big deal. republican leaders trying to almost restrain their members from making this about the mueller investigation, for making this about specific individuals that the fbi and the justice department, the big question now is will those efforts fall short and i can tell you in talking to a number of house republicans over the course of last two and a half days they don't believe necessarily that these are separate issues. they believe they're intertwined. they believe this memo is an indictment of more than just perhaps the fisa process or the specific fisa issue. i think those are things to keep a close eye on going forward. it is worth noting, house republican leaders are being very cautious with this, trying to make sure, brianna, these issues are separate going forward. >> yeah, they're trying. we'll see if they succeed. and, phil is joining us from the press file there in west virginia. if you thought he was in a college classroom, no, that's the press file, that's where you go, right, you're sort of like hostage there as a reporter to file your reports from there, yeah? >> reporter: yeah, there is good coffee. i'm enthused about that. but we're all somewhat excited
to leave the conference room, yes. >> i'm sure you are. looks not quite glamorous. okay. phil mattingly for us in white sulfur springs, west virginia. i want to bring in steve corpses di cordez and a. scott boldon, chair of the national bar association pac. so, steve, what did you think about the president's tweet this morning that you saw, he criticized what he said top leadership and investigators of the fbi and the justice department for politicizing the investigation. i wonder what you think and if this might be a counterpunch because he's facing very similar criticism himself with releasing this memo. >> you know, i don't think he is. i'm glad he praised the rank and file of the fbi. i think fbi agents are overwhelmingly incredibly hard working patriots who do dangerous work. they have been betrayed by very corrupt and conflicted leadership, particularly comey, people like mccabe, over at the
department of justice, bruce orr -- >> in fairness, how do you separate their work from the leadership here if you talk to anyone who knows how the process goes, rank and file is very much involved in this thing that president trump is criticizing. you really cannot separate the rank and file here from the leadership as it is engaged in this process. >> brianna, i disagree. the rank and file is doing the hard work of law enforcement. we have a lot of evidence, some of it explicit, some of it circumstantial, that the leadership of both the fbi and the doj, particularly during the obama administration, were incredibly partisan and incredibly politicized players rather than just down the line law enforcement people. >> wait, wait, wait. steve, the people that the president appointed himself, the fbi -- he's criticizing chris wray, that's his guy. >> they're all his guys. >> brianna, we're talking about -- this memo deals with doj and fbi activities during the obama administration, not
during the trump administration. i believe the washington post tells us that the democracy dies in darkness. you know what, i don't agree with them on a lot. i agree with them on that. transparency, let's shine a light on the activities, let's trust the american people to be adults and make adult decisions about this memo, knowing it is a partisan memo, let's release the democrat one too. let's get sunlight, as disinfecting, let's get the information out there and see what happened. >> he's saying release them both, release the dem memo too. >> how long i do have to respond? you need to tell the white house that to act like adults, to shine the light on a politically partisan memo that undermines the fbi and doj. i'm a former prosecutor, it is all about the mueller investigation. protecting donald trump. and even if there is nothing new in it, the republican piece on this and their talking points have been to criticize and politicize the doj and fbi. now, they are manufacturing a document that is essentially
based on evidence in part on documents doj and fbi never wanted to give. remember, a month or two ago, they were -- hold on. so it is the first time i think or very rare when you have the executive fighting with other executives and not relying on the fbi and doj and their expertise for national security that they say that lives are going to be -- could be cost. a cost of lives based on this memo. hold on, steve. this is a fact. you cannot sit here and argue with the fbi and doj and say, yeah, yeah, yeah, these were political people, these weren't political people, barack obama, these are his people right now. the top foreign charge he criticizes and the top four that the memo is targeted at are all republicans. it borders on the nonsensical. so stop it. just stop it. >> can i ask you, steve, who do you think he's taking aim at with this tweet? >> the leadership of -- i think
it is the leadership of the fbi and comey -- >> who do you -- who do you think chris wray is? >> the current leadership. that's who this takes a shot at. >> i just -- i'm curious, specifically who do you think he's taking aim at if it is not the head of the fbi? >> comey -- comey, mccabe. >> he's not there. >> strzok or page, all of those people. but the memo deals with the obama administration. and when you talk about -- >> he's talking currently. >> listen, i would say this currently. i think there are still problems there. and even if you're talking about his appointees, the point of this memo is that we believe, we haven't seen it yet, but reportedly it is about corrupt activities at the doj and the fbi. well, we don't give those very institutions then veto power over the release of that. they just cannot act in that -- they're too conflicted there. you talk about manufacturing the document, here is the reality, the democratic party -- >> wait, wait, wait, steve,
just -- hold on. steve, i have to ask you -- >> there is the pivot. don't let him pivot. >> you say they can't oversee it and won't take aim at chris wray and say that's not the focus of the tweet, if chris wray is an honest broker and says the memo shouldn't come out, why wouldn't you take him at his word. you said the president is not taking on crihris wray. gentlemen, hold on, steve, stand by. steve, i need you to wait. we have breaking news. we are -- >> this is cnn breaking news. >> okay, so we're learning that the white house has released this controversial nunes memo, okay. so this has happened. this is going against strong warnings from his own fbi chief i want to go straight now to jeff zeleny at the white house. jeff? >> brianna, we are told that president trump has indeed signed off on the declassification of this house intelligence committee memo and has sent word to the house intelligence committee that it should be released. now, the release will come from
the house intelligence committee, from the republican chairman of that committee, and the committee, but the president has indeed signed off on that. as you said, setting up a confrontation, an escalation for the first time with his own fbi director, christopher wray, who he appointed just last june. and has been on the job for six months. he, of course, said he had grave concerns about the release of this memo. but we are being told the president has authorized the release of this, and it will come out later today, most likely from the house committee. now, the president has not spoken on this, but he is meeting with some north korean defectors at this hour. so he could be asked about this. so this is happening this morning. as we have been expecting, the president, of course, believes that this will help discredit the russia investigation. that's what he has said himself, publicly and privately. he believes it is going to expose prejudice in the top ranks of the fbi. so that is why he authorized the
release of this 3 1/2 page memo he read himself here, with his advisers and has been considering it for the last several days. after the state of the union on tuesday, he said 100% it would be released and now that is coming true. he's authorized that >> so he sent word to the house. you said that we could then be seeing this later today. but this is something that this came from the house republican leadership or the house intel committee. it then went to the white house where officials and the president himself looked it over. he authorizes release. the ball kind of goes back to the court now of the house intelligence committee. and i wonder, do we understand why that is? is it something that actually the white house could have released? is this something the intel committee has to release? is this the president trying to say that this is congressional republicans doing this and it's not the white house? what is it? >> reporter: no, it's a document that was prepared by the house
intelligence committee. so the president is declassifying it. but it's been explained to us that this is their document, so it's not the charge of the white house to release it. in fact, the president could have only stopped it. he could have stopped the release of it, but by simply authorizing the release of it, it goes back to the house committee. this is based on this rule of the house here. so the white house is not trying to skirt the fact that the president is behind this. i suspect that he will speak about this and explain it because he, in fact, has been pushing for this. the white house says it's a matter of transparency. we've not heard him talk about it publicly this week, but he did send out a message this morning on social media saying exactly the fact that he believes the fbi has been biased against him. it's what he's been saying in private phone calls as well. but brianna, this has shaken washington unlike most other things probably since the firing of the fbi director last may, james comey here, so when the house releases that, and we are expecting that to be released
later today, the timing is indeed up to them. house republicans, of course, are coming back from their retreat at the greenbriar resort in west virginia. but we do expect them to release this memo. and we should point out the fact that this is indeed a partisan document. there is a partisan fight going on here in the house of representatives, a big fight between republicans and democrats, and a split between senate republicans. there are several senate republicans like senator john thune of south dakota who believes the senate should have weighed in on this before public release. so despite warnings from it is fbi director, despite warnings from the justice department, the president has made the decision to authorize this release. in his words both privately and publicly he hopes it will discredit the russia investigation going forward. that remains to be seen here because the mueller investigation is very well going forward, despite all of this. so this is not involving the mueller investigation, this is just something for the house of representatives. and their process, brianna, as you know, has been mired in
politics from the beginning here. important to point out, this is one small slice of many russia investigations going on, the most important, of course, is the special counsel's, brianna. >> jeff, i do want you to stand by for us as i bring in shimon. this news is breaking now. the president has authorized the release of this republican memo drafted by house intel committee chair devin nunes. shimon, talk to us. what are you learning? >> like most of us, the fbi is certainly waiting to see what gets released, what's in this memo. and that's basically where it stands as of, you know, a few minutes ago, you know, in talking to some law enforcement officials. everyone is just waiting right now exactly. the fbi's position definitely has not changed. they do not want this to be released and they, with the rest what it says.
there are a lot of concerns and there are continuing concerns over what this memo is going to say and how it discredits the fbi and the institution. that's the concern here. >> publicly when you talk to officials in the government, they will not say, this is what's in this memo because this was previously classified. but there's been some reporting on what's in the memo, right? can you just sort of remind us of some of that, how some of this may have to do with carter page, who was a trump campaign adviser on foreign policy, and also how it seems there may be something in there that would have been damaging to andrew mccabe, who ended up stepping down earlier than we expected. >> certainly. andrew mccabe, the big picture here is how is this going to make rod rosenstein look, who is the deputy attorney general overseeing the russia investigation. bob mueller reports to rod rosenstein. so that is the big issue here.
that is what this, in the end, most feel this memo is about. it's to discredit rod rosenstein, it's to discredit the fbi, ultimately to discredit the fbi. there have been some reports that in this memo are indications -- there is information about the fisa. fisa used on the russia investigation as it relates to carter page. carter page was one of the advisers on the foreign national team. we've done some reporting on him that the fbi, in their attempt to get a fisa on him, used the dossier as evidence in a memorandum, in a motion that went before the fisa court. and this, as some reports indicated, is one of the things that the memo talks about. we don't know that for sure because certainly none of us here have seen the memo, and people that i've talked to really have not seen the memo.
but based on some published reports, this is what the memo is going to attack, the fisa for carter page. but again, we have to wait and see. >> shimon, i'm going to let you talk to more of your sources as this has now been released. i want to bring jeff zeleny back in from the white house. as we learned this, jeff, that the president has authorized the release of this memo written by the staff for the republican chairman for the house intel committee. what are you learning? >> brianna, we are also learning now that the white house is saying there were no redactions to this three and a half page memo. that had been a question here in recent days. would the white house, would the president authorize some changes to this to, you know, essentially ease some of the concerns of the fbi and the justice department. we are told there were no redactions, no changes made to this memo here at the white house. the issue here is the fbi was pushing back a couple days ago and yesterday saying redactions aren't the issue here, it's the
omissions from this document here. but we are now being told by the white house that the document was approved and declassified as it was approved by the house committee earlier this week. we're also getting word the president has addressed this in another event that he was holding in the oval office. we will have that video once the event is over. but he did talk about this briefly, we're told, and he indeed did confirm, according to the pool reporter in the room there, that he did send this back to congress. so now the ball is in the court of the house intelligence committee to release this, and brianna, then another chapter of a partisan fight here begins over explaining the memo and the justification for it and everything else here. but of course democrats deeply opposed to this as well as the fbi director and the justice department. brianna? >> jeff zeleny, thank you for getting us new information there from white house officials. i want to bring in michael zelden. he's our analyst and he also is
counsel that heads up the russia investigation. you heard reporting there, michael. no redactions. it seems like the white house has been indicating that when this was released there would be no redactions, but there was also some changes made after the house intel committee voted on this. republicans say these were not big changes. democrats say not so fast, but they say overall, as jeff pointed out, democrats, their problem is there are omissions and there are things certainly that the fbi and the doj feel make this document factually incorrect. >> that's right. and so what we have here, i think, on its broadest terms is the president of the united states making the determination that he will follow his own instincts and release something that his entire intelligence apparatus and justice department, fbi apparatus, oppose. and he has said at the same time it has been reported on cnn that he's been telling his friends on the phone that he's going to
release this because he thinks it will be advantageous to him in the respect of the mueller investigation. so it's a personal interest over a national interest determination, it seems, by the president. now it goes back to the house, and whether or not these are just cosmetic changes or substantive changes, presumably the chairman will redistribute this memo and that the full committee will then get a determination vote as to whether or not they want to release it. if he just says, i have authority individually to release this and i'm releasing it, then that's a determination that the house has to figure out, whether that's within the rules or outside of the rules. >> michael? >> we are, brianna, in a difficult situation. >> michael, just really quick because we're almost out of time here before we hand over to the next hour. what are you expecting, that the committee puts this out on their website? how do you expect this to go down? >> that's a good question. i suspect they have to release it in some public way on the
intelligence website is the most logical place to do it. the president tweeted it out. i can't imagine it going out through any other channel than through the house intelligence committee web page. >> we'll be keeping an eye out for that. michael zelden, thank you so much. breaking news that the president has released this controversial publicly written memo. our news will continue with dana bash right now. >> announcer: this is cnn breaking news. breaking news this hour, a white house official tells cnn that president trump has authorized the release of that highly controversial house republican memo about the russia investigation. the fbi still says it has grave concerns about the memo which cnn is told alleges agency abuse with